A few days ago the Ordinary Session of Puntland of House Representatives had opened in Garowe, the Capital of the State, in an atmosphere of peace. By Constitution and tradition, the State President opened the Parliament Session.

As usual, invited dignitaries delivered speeches on the occasion. Suddenly, and inconsistently with the Parliament protocols and tradition for any opening session, an MP, Awil Hassan Daad, rose up on the floor with the explicit permission by the Speaker, and asked the President scathing questions. The President answered the MP’s questions, but got annoyed and stormed out of the Session. By the way, the President was not required legally to stay on in the session after he had delivered his opening speech.

Now, legally, an MP can ask a member of the Executive Branch any question in the public interest. In doing so, there is no crime committed that warrant the Attorney General to issue a legal action against the MP for asking the President hard questions. That MP had a question and the Speaker gave him the floor of the House to ask. He must be safe on the floor.

Besides, the House is co-equal branch of the government and couldn’t be silenced by the Executive Branch or Judiciary.

True, protocols and civility matter in their conduct by all branches of government.

In conclusion, people of Puntland badly need independent public institutions. But, that also applies to the Judiciary to avoid being seen as an Executive tool to silence government critics. Equally, people of Puntland will not tolerate their representatives being used and manipulated by external forces against the vital interests of the people of Puntland.


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Ciise Dholowaa contributed to this article providing legal definitions of Parliament Privileges.


October 27, 2019
The Ordinary Session of Puntland House of Representatives opens on schedule. Every peaceful session of the House is a victory and progress for the people and government of Puntland.
Usually, the House Session starts with an Opening Ceremony full of speeches by dignitaries, citations and adoption of legislative agenda of the session. 
What happened yesterday in the Opening Session was out of the ordinary. The Opening Session turned into unscheduled aggressive “question period”. It looked like preemptive strike or ambush by some members of the House against the President. Gentlemen and ladies, it doesn’t work that way.
The Opening Session of the House invites guests, both foreign and local, and it is purely ceremonial for Day One. It is not appropriate for any member of the House to disregard the norms and regulations of the House and turned it into fight with the State President on the first day of the session.
Nevertheless, and under the circumstance, President Deni answered well the member’s provocative questions directly attacking the President  The President, however, seemed to have lost his cool and had stormed out of the Session prematurely and angrily. The President should be the last person to show personal emotions. Yes, he should act in self-defense calmly, appreciative of his position as the Head of the State and Head of the Government. When a President gets annoyed, half of the population gets angry.
Puntland House members should learn the protocols and parliamentarian rules. Question Period is very important to bring the Executive branch into  account, it must be, though, scheduled and properly conducted.

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